Why ‘Crim­i­nal Minds’ is no longer Cook-ing


Q: Why did A.J. Cook leave “Crim­i­nal Minds”? — David McCord, Fed­eral Way, Wash. A: The pro­duc­ers opted not to pick up her con­tract for the CBS crime drama, spark­ing more than a bit of protest from fans of the show when it hap­pened. Cook did ap­pear in the sea­son’s first cou­ple of episodes to wrap up the story of her char­ac­ter, JJ, and that re­port­edly was a di­rect re­sult of the out­cry by au­di­ence mem­bers. Since her de­par­ture from “Crim­i­nal Minds,” Cook turned up in an episode of NBC’s “Law & Or­der: Spe­cial Vic­tims Unit” that also fea­tured Jeremy Irons.

Q: What ever hap­pened to “The Starter Wife” with Debra Mess­ing? I had an­tic­i­pated more but lost track. — Rachelle Tucker,

Colum­bus, Ohio A: De­pend­ing on how much you saw, you may have seen all there was to see. Af­ter the fa­vor­able re­cep­tion given the 2007 minis­eries based on Gigi Levangie Grazer’s novel, USA Net­work or­dered a weekly ver­sion — in which Mess­ing con­tin­ued in the cen­tral role — that ul­ti­mately lasted only one sea­son (2008-09).

Q: Mar­lee Matlin re­cently guest starred on “CSI: Crime Scene In­ves­ti­ga­tion.” Is the man who in­ter­preted for her the same man who has been with her for years, go­ing all the way back to the se­ries she did with Mark Har­mon years ago? I can’t re­mem­ber the name of the show.

— Ca­role Zei­her, Ken­more, N.Y. A: That NBC se­ries was ti­tled “Rea­son­able Doubts,” and yes, Jack Ja­son has been “Chil­dren of a Lesser God” Os­car win­ner Matlin’s long­time in­ter­preter both on­cam­era and off. He’s by her side again as she cur­rently par­tic­i­pates in the just-started sea­son of NBC’s “The Celebrity Ap­pren­tice.”

Q: Will the Jerry Se­in­feld-pro­duced se­ries “The Mar­riage Ref” be com­ing back? — Stephanie Brake,

Gales­burg, Ill. A: It was, but NBC changed its plans. The show was set to re­turn this month, but the net­work de­cided to give the time pe­riod to “Amer­ica’s Next Great Restau­rant” in­stead. At this writ­ing, there was no def­i­nite word on when the se­ries will resur­face.

Q: Why do they keep run­ning re­runs of the new “Hawaii Five-0”? I love the show but am re­ally sick of re­runs of it this early in the game. — Dot Fos­ter,

Ful­ton, Mo. A: As we typ­i­cally do with ques­tions of this na­ture, we di­rect you to the phrase “Do the math.” A se­ries gen­er­ally has 22 new episodes per tele­vi­sion sea­son; a tele­vi­sion sea­son has roughly 39 weeks, so ... do the math. There aren’t enough new episodes for ev­ery week of the sea­son, so yes, there will be re­peats.

In de­fense of CBS and “Hawaii Five-0,” though, the show had a healthy run of fresh episodes be­fore it re­verted to re­peats. The net­work also wants to save some of the re­main­ing new episodes for the end of the sea­son. There­fore, ex­pect some more re­peats over the com­ing weeks.

Q: I was sur­prised at the end­ing of the sea­son fi­nale of “Life Un­ex­pected.” Is the show re­turn­ing for a third sea­son? — Les­lie Thorn­ton,

McDon­ald, Ohio A: It seems un­likely, though at this writ­ing, The CW had not yet given the show an of­fi­cial can­cel­la­tion no­tice. One has to ac­knowl­edge it doesn’t look good for a show when its episode or­der has been cut and its sea­son fi­nale moved up to Jan­uary — nor when its cre­ator-pro­ducer (in this case, Liz Tige­laar) has signed a deal with an­other net­work (ABC). The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, but fans of “Life” should be ad­vised not to get their hopes too high.

Q: What has hap­pened to Rick Sanchez of CNN?

— Mary Ni­co­tra, Flush­ing, N.Y. A: He and the cable news net­work parted ways at the start of Oc­to­ber, right af­ter the news­man made dis­crim­i­na­tion­re­lated com­ments on a satel­lite ra­dio show. Sanchez also tar­geted “Daily Show” host Jon Ste­wart in his re­marks.

The next day, CNN is­sued a state­ment that read, in its en­tirety, “Rick Sanchez is no longer with the com­pany. We thank Rick for his years of ser­vice and we wish him well.” In his time with the net­work, Sanchez was very ac­tive on Twit­ter, in­cor­po­rat­ing it into his tele­casts — and he re­mains so, with­out hav­ing a reg­u­lar tele­vi­sion plat­form cur­rently.

Send ques­tions of gen­eral in­ter­est via e-mail to tvpipeline@ tri­bune.com. Writers must in­clude their names, cities and states. Per­sonal replies can­not be sent.

A.J. Cook was dropped from the cast of “Crim­i­nal Minds.”

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